Installment loans are a popular way to make large purchases. Mortgages, student loans, and even car loans are classified as installment loans.
The reason why installment loans are so common is that they help you purchase an asset immediately while spreading out the payments, unlike balloon loans such as car title loans and payday loans. Plus, installment loans are available for applicants with varying degrees of good credit or bad credit.
In short, an installment loan is a sum of money that you agree to pay back over a set time period with an agreed-upon interest rate. Typically, the interest rate will be lower than that of debts collected on credit cards, which can make them useful in transferring debt or managing a sum too large to pay off in only a few months.
Something else to consider is how prevalent installment loans are nowadays. New microlenders like Afterpay and Affirm — mainly for smaller purchases — are making installment loans even more common as they can offer transparent interest rates at the time of purchase. In fact, many of these providers are built into the checkout process of online stores.
Now, because of this, there are many direct installment loan lenders both locally and nationally. Below, we have put together a guide on some of the best online installment loan providers. Of course, these providers and their ability to service customers will vary from state to state, so make sure you do your research and contact their customer service. In short, choose the best lender that fits your needs.
1. Simple Fast Loans
Simple Fast Loans is a nationally recognized, fully licensed financial company for online lending services. The national company offers online installment loans in Delaware, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. The company’s installment loans are for reasonable amounts starting at $200 and maxing out at $2,000. Keep in mind, these amounts do vary from state to state.
Simple Fast Loans offers easy repayment options for borrowers as well. Reviews from borrowers read like this one here from Hunter M:
“I got a letter in the mail saying I was pre-approved for an $1100 line of credit. Logged onto their website and filled out the information. I was approved for the $1100 and it was in my account the next day.”
Simple Fast Loans has an easy application process that can be completed online. Lendees can receive a decision in minutes. The company’s requirements vary by state, but you must 18 years old to qualify. In all cases, you will need a valid photo ID or driver’s license. Here are the remaining items you will need for a Simple Fast’s installment loan:
- Most recent paystub
- You must have an active Checking account
- Valid photo I.D. card
- Phone number to be contacted
- Valid Social Security number
- You must be at least 18 years old
The company does not serve active or reserve military members.
Furthermore, the amount for an installment loan with Simple Fast Loans will vary based on income and your ability to repay. Before you sign on the dotted line, you will be able to review all the fees and additional details you need to make a decision. Even if you decide not to take the loan offer, Simple Fast Loans protects your personal data and never shares it.
2. Wise Loan
Wise Loan is an online lender offering loans ranging from $200 to $2,000, depending on where you live. Their loans are targeted at people who are facing financial emergencies or financial hardship.
The company boasts loan decisions in 24 hours as long as you finalize your loan by 5:30pm (Central). Wise Loan is also Better Business Bureau accredited, so you can feel comfortable that you are getting a loan from a trusted lender.
Another nice feature is Wise Loan’s Nest Egg Rewards program. The program will reward you for repaying your installment loan on time. You can earn between $1 to $5 in your Nest Egg Rewards account for every $100 you borrow and repay. Once you earn Nest Egg rewards, you can send the funds to your bank account, apply them to a current loan payment or add them to a future loan.
While this might be a nice feature, the money you earn from the Nest Egg program will not change the interest rates Wise Loan is offering. The company’s reviews do knock their interest rates, which can be in the triple digits. Of course, these rates vary from state to state, so check the company’s rates here.
Wise Loan’s requirements are rather standard for the industry with some form of government identification like a social security card, current and verifiable income, and an active bank account.
MaxLend offers online installment loans for residents in 38 states.The company does not offer loans to residents of Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, or West Virginia.
The maximum amount for an installment loan with MaxLend is $2,500.
As per usual with these lenders, the interest rate you ultimately qualify for depends on MaxLend’s assessment of your creditworthiness, along with such factors as the amount and frequency of your income — more on requirements is below.
If you decide to go with MaxLend for your loan, you may want to read some reviews on TrustPilot. Here is a concerning review from a lendee named Tyler Kangas:
“Stay away, the entire service is criminal. Borrowed $800, overwhelmed with expenses one week, after 8 weeks of paying $100 each time looked into paying off the loan. I owed more than I borrowed…”
Here is another troubling review from Carol Lee on TrustPilot:
“Bad idea. Borrowed $475 in January. Still trying to pay this off. Will probably end up paying over $1500 if I don’t get some money to pay them off immediately. Would not recommend this company to anyone.”
There are also 25 complaints logged on the Better Business Bureau. MaxLend is not accredited on that platform as well. Their BBB reviews are worth reading because the company is not discharging loans for COVID-19, which is something to note in this season.
If this hasn’t scared you off, the requirement for a MaxLend installment loan is a form of government identification like a social security card, current and verifiable income, and an active bank account.
LendUp describes itself as an alternative to payday loans.
The company also adds this blurb on their website:
LendUp offers a quick online application and instant decisions, 24/7. Good credit is not required. We also offer a series of free online education courses designed to boost your financial savvy fast.
This tidbit is interesting because LendUp does offer education classes to help lenders with their finances. This is rare in an industry often flagged for its predatory practices.
Considering the recent pandemic, LendUp has modified rates and now does not have a minimum credit score. The current APR is 30% and as high as 180% with loan amounts ranging from $100 to $400. Keep in mind, these rates and amounts will vary from state to state. The repayment terms on LendUp’s installment loans are capped at four months.
The company does have strong reviews on its website like this one from Pierre J:
“I’ve worked with LendUp to cover some unexpected car issues and some work issues that popped up. Thank you LendUp for being hands-on and supportive when I needed you most.”
This review might be biased as it is on the company website, but LendUp does not have the alarming reviews on TrustPilot are complaints on the Better Business Bureau like other installment loan providers on this list.
To conclude, LendUp offers quick installment loans at a maximum of $400 and will require government identification, verifiable income, and an active bank account to get the application process started.
Around since 2011, MoneyKey offers short-term credit products, such as installment loans and payday loans, to consumers through their online platform.
The company describes itself as striving to “provide five-star service to our customers and offer a variety of fast online loans and make sure you get your funds quickly. Customers who have had difficulty borrowing money from traditional banks have written favorable reviews about us because of our easy application process and fast loan approvals.”
MoneyKey’s installment loan range between $150 – $1,500 and the payback period starts at five months and the maximum is 18 months. Keep in mind, these numbers vary by state.
MoneyKey has 4.5 stars on TrustPilot out of more than 2,400 reviews. That said, the company does have a battery of complaints logged with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). To be clear, MoneyKey is not BBB accredited and has 83 total complaints. Here is one example from April 2020:
“I have been making payments on my loan but due to a financial emergency, I was unable to make 1 payment. I immediately called to see if they could add the payment to the end of my loan and they said they could not. My only option is to make the payment. I’m already paying $400/month due to outrageous interest. They are calling me every day and will not work with me at all.”
So, there is differing opinion about MoneyKey depending on the review site. Still, if you are interested in MoneyKey’s services, you need to be over 18, a US citizen, have an active bank account, regular income, and a valid email address.
6. American Web Loan
American Web Loan, or AWL, is an online tribal lender operated by the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians. It offers short-term installment loans — with six-, nine- and 12-month repayment terms. The amounts on AWL’s installment loans range from $300 to $2,500.
AWL does have a nice suite of technology to assist customers. The company has live chat on its website and a mobile app. Here is what the company’s website says:
New customers can apply right on our website. Returning customers can do this or apply directly on the AWL Mobile App. You’ll know our decision moments after hitting submit! Manage your loan from the palm of your hand and make additional payments at any time. We’ll never charge you a prepayment penalty fee.
American Web Loan specializes in loans for those with bad credit. However, this comes at a cost. AWL does not allow consumers to pre-qualify and has been known to not be transparent fees until you are signing onto the dotted line.
With no prequalification option and no available information about interest, you can’t compare the terms of an AWL loan to potential offers from other lenders that are more transparent.
This is not even the most concerning thing about American Web Loans. AWL’s complaints on the Better Business Bureau allege that the company has sent money to customers without complete authorization, essentially locking people into loans without their knowledge. In fact, 20% of the 300 complaints on the BBB are customers saying AWL locked them into a loan without their consent.
But, American Web Loan is really getting cash in an emergency, and the company does guarantee money by the next business day at the latest (as long as your account is not at a credit union).
Upstart has a unique underwriting model, which uses artificial intelligence and nontraditional data — like a college education, job history, and residence — to evaluate borrowers.
More traditional lenders focus almost exclusively on a borrower’s credit report, debts and income, and assets. Upstart is the new breed of installment loan lenders that are looking at other parts of a borrower’s life.
The company says this AI-based underwriting model helps younger applicants and those with thin credit histories qualify for a loan. But, Upstart does require borrowers to have a credit score of 600 or above (plus a minimum income of $12,000 annually).
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau even published a blog post giving credit to Upstart for approving more borrowers with a 620 to 660 FICO score than other lenders.
A clear problem with Upstart is the fact they may charge an origination fee of up to 8% of your loan amount. This fee amount can represent huge costs for the borrower. Plus, paying up to 8% of your loan amount in an origination fee is pretty much unprecedented in the installment loan space.
The application process for Upstart is modern and easy through the company’s convenient online portal. After submitting information such as your name, income, employment details, address, phone number, and email address, you will be notified if you are pre-qualified. Once you’re pre-qualified, you can decide whether you like the loan terms you were offered. If you do, you can move forward by completing the application with your Social Security number.
Upstart has fairly positive scores on Simple Dollar and NerdWallet, but those sites do not specifically discuss their installment loan product.
Upgrade is an online lender that was founded in 2016 with physical headquarters and support locations in San Francisco, Montreal, Chicago, and Phoenix.
Here are the installment loan highlights from Upgrade:
- Loans up to $35,000 with a fixed interest rate between 7.99% and 35.97% APR.
- Repay your loan over 36 months or 60 months.
- Expect to pay an origination fee between 2.9% and 8.0% of your loan amount, which will vary depending on your credit score and other financial details.
- Qualifying co-signers are allowed.
The company allows borrowers to have a high debt-to-income ratio and a credit score of 600 or higher. Upgrade does not do a hard credit inquiry if that is something you are worried about.
Like a few other lenders on this list, Upgrade does offer some handy educational tools for borrowers. Customers get a credit score summary, credit health insights, customized recommendations, email updates, and trending charts that can help you track your progress.
Review sites score Upgrade fairly well. On Trustpilot, the company has over 3,000 reviews and maintains a 4.7 rating out of 5. Still, some reviews are worth noting the downside of an Upgrade loan, see below:
“[The] loan process is easy The problem is afterward I found out that they charge a lot of money upfront. They take it directly out of the loan and the interest that you pay is heavily laid upfront. You will be paying a lot of interest upfront and most of your payment goes to interest for the first two years. It is horrible.”
So, I would not expect to see much of a dent in your installment loan, but this complaint is common for the industry.
LendingPoint lends to people in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The company’s only exception is West Virginia.
LendingPoint has one of the lowest credit score requirements on this list of 585. So, the company is clearly catering to borrowers with bad credit. The company’s rates are reasonable. Its minimum personal loan APR is 9.99%, and the maximum is 35.99%.
Other important things to consider for LendingPoint is the low-income requirement of $25,000 and the origination fee scaling from 0% – 6%. Both of these provider borrowers with bad credit a sold chance of getting a loan that they can actually pay back.
LendingPoint’s payoff periods are between 24 to 48 months. For the application process, the company does allow you to see offers before signing your installment loan. In fact, LendingPoint has a tool to check for pre-qualification, which will show you what kind of loan offers are available to you. At first, the credit pull is a soft pull, which does not affect your score. But, if you choose one of the offers, then they do perform a hard pull. This will make your credit score go down slightly. So, be 100% before you select the offer.
In terms of review, LendingPoint has shown good marks with customers. The company has been Better Business Bureau accredited since 2014. There are 47 complaints logged with the Consumer Protection Agency about not posting payments and not allowing customers to access their accounts. Of course, we recommend research any lender you work with, but these complaints are relatively minor compared to some other lenders on this list.
10. OneMain Financial
OneMain Financial is a traditional lender that is conveniently offers its services online.
With OneMain, you can borrow up to $20,000 and pay off your loan over 24 to 60 months. The company’s interest rates max out at 35.99% and include an origination fee, charged as either a flat fee ($30 to $150) or a percentage of your loan amount (1% to 5%). These details will depend on your personal information and the state where you reside.
As mentioned above, OneMain is all about convenience, even if they do not exactly cater to those with bad credit. You can receive a loan decision in 10 minutes with OneMain.
OneMain Financial has some other requirements to note. You must be at least 18 years old and live in one of the 44 states that OneMain services. You must also be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or Visa holder, and you will need a Social Security number or passport to apply.
For reviews, OneMain is holding its own. It has 4.5 out of five stars on TrustPilot with mostly positive reviews like this one:
“I have never had such a quick and easy experience dealing with a loan request. The person I talked to was so helpful and pleasant! She walked me through the computer stuff,(I’m helpless) and had a great sense of humor! Anyway, I would recommend One Main to anyone who needs a loan.”
Now, some other sites don’t speak so highly of OneMain. The Consumer Protection database has logged more than 700 complaints about the company, even though they have been Better Business Accredited since 1985.
Chicago-based, Avant is an online lender specializing in loans for those with bad credit. Although, after looking at their rates, the company has a more traditional loan model than some of the other lenders on this list.
Avant asks for a minimum credit score of 580 to qualify for an installment loan. The minimum Avant loan interest rate is high, at 9.95%, and the maximum interest rate is 35.99%.
Still, NerdWallet ranks Avant as the best lender for those with bad credit, but this seems slightly misguided when you look at these rates.
According to the company materials, about half of Avant’s borrowers use installment loans for debt consolidation. Typical loan terms range between two and five years.
- Avant has loans as low as $2,000 and as high as $35,000. So, this may not be the best quick cash lender, but you can borrow a significant amount if you qualify.
- Strong online customer service: Avant has a very easy to use mobile app, where you can pay and bill and do other basic functions.
- The company does not allow for co-signers to help you get approved.
- Avant charges a $25 late payment fee, a $15 dishonored payment fee and an administration fee of up to 4.75 percent.
Oportun is considered an installment loan company for those who need emergency loans or fast cash.
The company’s appeal is that they don’t require you to even have a credit score to apply, but loans are small, starting at $300 and going up. Oportun’s website lists a maximum of $8,000, but this varies state to state.
Something interesting about Oportun is that they are federally certified Community Development Financial Institution. This means along with their loans they offer educational information along with their loans.
Requirements include proof of income in the form of bank statements or pay stubs. Oportun will also check databases for payment history and other consumer data.
The company does also allows you to pre-qualify on their website without doing a hard credit inquiry. So, checking out their rates will not hurt your credit.
Oportun has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2016. On the BBB, there are 66 complaints. Some of the complaints are concerning alleging that Oportun did not apply loan payments properly, like the one below:
Dear BBB, This is letter is letting Opportun know that there billing system has taken my December 2019 payment and still marked 30 days late on my TransUnion & Experian credit report. I have tried several times calling customer service to get this issue fixed to no support at all.
Obviously, one customer’s experience is not going to be the same for everyone else. Still, if you are considering Oportun, ask plenty of questions about repayment, late payments, and how they handle financial hardship.
Lastly, Oportun only operates in 12 states: AZ, CA, FL, ID, IL, MO, NJ, NM, NV, TX, UT, and WI.
Started in 2012 by CEO Jared Kaplan, OppLoans’ mission is to provide those experiencing an emergency easy access to credit.
The company was born from the tragedy of the 2008 financial crisis. Now, they are working to provide fast cash installment loans to customers in 37 states including the District of Columbia.
That said, OppLoans’ interest rates are quite high, ranging from 99% to 199%. Installment loans start at $500 and max out at $10,000. The good news for those in need is that OppLoans does not require a minimum credit score and only asks for a monthly gross income of $1,500. Other requirements include a bank account registered for a minimum of 40 days, receive income through direct deposit, and borrowers will also need a social security card.
One issue — and this was confirmed on the Better Business Bureau and other consumer protections databases — OppLoans does not adequately report payments to credit bureaus. This means that the company is not ideal if you are trying to build credit, which is discouraging considering the company’s mission.
What the company does do well is get you money fast. OppLoans will get you cash-in-hand in 1-2 business days.
Looking at OppLoans rates, a customer with a credit score of 600 with income in the $40,000 to $50,000 range who borrowed $1,350 with an interest rate of 140% would have monthly payments of $250 a month for 9 months.
If these installment loan terms are something you can stomach, then Opploans might be a lender to write down on your list.
14. Tower Loan
Operating since 1936, Tower Loans is a smaller installment loan operator.
The company does not put their rates on their website like other lenders. But Tower Loans does explain their requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age (19 in the state of Alabama)
- Reside in one of the areas Tower Loan locations
- Be employed or have a regular source of income
- A valid email address and a savings/checking account
Now, the company does boast a 4.7 rating on TrustPilot. But on other consumer review databases, the reviews are not as glowing.
“This place is the worst place to get a loan from. They still want their payments and my husband has gotten laid off from his job, because of this COVID – 19 virus. I know we were behind in our payments, before this COVID -19, but with all the late fees they charge you can never get them paid off.”
While some of these details are not the company’s fault, we urge readers to do their research and ask questions before taking out an installment loan with Tower Loans.
15. Rise Loans
Rise Loans is part of Texas finance company, Elevate. The company is ideal for borrowers with bad credit or those who are trouble getting loans from traditional banks.
Like most of the other loans on this list, Rise’s installment loans are supposed to be for medical emergencies or other quick cash scenarios.
The company’s loans start at $500 and RISE’s minimum APR is 60% and their maximum is 299%. Rise does not charge any origination fees nor late payment penalties. However, the company does report to credit bureaus.
Rise does allow you to check your loan rate before signing the loan. The company’s pre-qualification process is online and easy. You will use your name, email, and state. Then, click “Check Your Loan Options.” You’ll then be directed to a form where you fill in more detailed information like your address and income. At the end of this process, which will not hurt your credit, you will see what offers you’re likely to qualify for.
It is worth noting that Rise along with its parent company, Elevate, and sister company, Elastic, were sued in the District of Columbia. The state alleged the company gave out loans above the District’s maximum interest rate.
Here is an example of a Rise installment loan repayment. For a loan of $2,100 loan and a repayment term of 5 months at an APR of 125%, repayment amounts would come to $560 a month.
16. Possible Finance
Possible Finance is an interesting addition to this list. The company serves residents in Idaho, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Washington. And, if you happen to qualify, Possible Finance can give you a response in an hour.
Possible Finance’s installment loans start at $500 and max out at $2,000. These installment loans are perfect for folks with bad credit or zero credit history. The good news is this: the company reports on-time payments to Possible Finance loan payments are reported to the three major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This means folks can improve their credit score with an installment loan from this lender. But, what are the rates?
Estimated APR for Possible’s installment loans start at 151% and top out at 230%. According to company documents, about half of all applicants qualify and receive funding instantly to their debit card.
In order to qualify, you must be able to link a checking account with three months of history, have positive cash flow, and show a monthly income of $750.
Possible Finance loans are repaid every two weeks over an eight-week period. Customers have the option to defer payments up to 29 days past the original due date with no additional fees, interest charges, or impact to their credit scores.
Possible Finance is Better Business Burea-accredited and has an A- rating. The company has 17 complaints logged on the BBB website, however, the complaints are for items that don’t really cause much alarm.
Possible Finance is a new company in the installment loan lending arena. Their rates are fairly typical for the industry and cater to those with bad credit. But, if you are an app person, the company’s technology might appeal to you.
CreditNinja installment loans are short-term unsecured loans up to $5,000. The company operates in 12 states and offers same-day funding for customers who are approved. The company is very secretive about their APR rates as they say they vary by state. This is a little unusual for this list, where most lenders are being transparent about APR.
That said, CreditNinja has mostly positive customer reviews as of July 2020. It has 4.6 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot based on feedback from over 2,000 customers. Here is an example of a typical review:
“This has to be the easiest way to borrow money! After I got my information updated, it was within minutes I was approved and the funds were in my account the next morning! Thanks for helping a girl out!!”
While it only gets 1 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but that rating is based on only a few customer reviews.
CreditNinja guarantees great customer service and says this on their website: “Every customer is unique and we take the time with every customer to listen to your needs and assist with any part of the application process. At CreditNinja we use every customer experience as a learning experience to improve the lives of our customers’ experiences. Our customers are our number one priority!”
CreditNinja funds loans directly into a customer’s checking account and does not seem to charge a late payment fee.
Installment loans offer a great way to build your credit and make that big purchase. Some key points to remember, an installment loan amount will be determined by your credit history and your income. If approved, you will usually have between 6 months to a few years to repay the loan.
We recommend looking through this list carefully and choosing the company that is best for you. We have only summarized the main points for each company, but do your research on the fine print. Some companies will offer great terms but maybe nickel and dime you with fees. Other companies will ask for a lot of documentation and maybe slow down the loan process. So, always ask lots of questions and come prepared.